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Buying Christmas presents overseas

I am thinking of having some Christmas presents sent over from Asia, and I just wondered if there were any tax issues I should be aware of.

There are a few limits you ought to be aware of with regards to bringing goods into the UK from outside the EU:

  • You can bring goods (excluding tobacco and alcohol) worth up to £390 in from non-EU countries via commercial sea or air transport without paying VAT or duty (excluding tobacco and alcohol)
  • You can bring goods (excluding tobacco and alcohol) worth up to £270 in from non-EU countries via any other transport without paying VAT or duty

Please note the allowances above are per person and cannot be combined if you are travelling as a couple or group. Furthermore, if the package exceeds the allowance, the duty is charged on the full value of the item; not just on the amount in excess of the limit.

  • Should you buy goods over the internet or by mail order worth over £15 from outside the EU, you will have to pay VAT. If the package is worth over £135, duty may also be due

For more detailed information, please feel free to discuss this with your local TaxAssist Accountant.

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